AR50 Training Update – 2/26/12

Training for a 50 mile race is a tough one.  I knew this even before signing up for AR50, but I did not realize that it is a huge commitment.  There is the commitment to do the miles, eat the right kind of food, and maintain a certain weight (especially being a light weight, I NEED the energy to be ready for the long weekend runs).  In addition, there is the commitment to your family and loved ones, or their commitment to your training, accepting that you wake up early most weekdays to train and get home late for a training run after work, and are out for 4 hours or so running on both Saturday and Sundays.  Not to mention, your commitment to work and other volunteer work.

January 2012 was a fairly good month in terms of training; it is about 4 months till race day at that point.  My January training consisted of some lap swims with SVTC, spin classes at the gym, and running the miles on trails and streets in the Bay area on the weekdays and weekends.  I ran a total of 159.12 miles in January (I don’t round up or down).  It was a  decent  month of training.

February started slow.  I mentioned that this is also a commitment to your family.  Well, since Andy has been very supportive and not complaining (too much) of my daily workouts, I agreed on a Vegas weekend trip during the Super Bowl, so he can also meet up with his San Diego friends.  I knew it would be difficult to get a run in since we won’t have a car, and I don’t really care for running on a treadmill or on the Strip.  In other words, I got a whopping 20 minute run on the treadmill that weekend, and a total of 17.2 miles for that week.

On the weekend of Feb 19th, I went to L.A. for a last minute trip, to run the Pasadena Half Marathon for my sister because she broke her foot a couple weeks ago on a rock climbing accident (in an Indoor Rock Gym).  This was my brother Jeri’s very first half marathon so I thought it would be  nice to be there for him.  I kept up with my training by  running my 17 mile run on Saturday.  I should have ran longer, but given we were carpooling with our friend to go to Pasadena, I had to do just enough to get a good run in.  I then ran the half marathon with my sister Raciel, helping her get her new PR of 2:33 finish.  It felt good running with her, like it was another training run back when I used to live in L.A. and was helping her train for her first marathon.  After the run, we went to the beer garden, as we were waiting for Jeri to finish.  Sugar Ray played at the finish line post-race concert.  After 1 Michelob Light, a few Sugar Ray songs,  it had to have been over 3 hrs since the start of the race and I was wondering where Jeri was.  So I went back out to the course and ran / jogged till I found my brother, about a mile from the finish line (mile 12), walking and limping.  To my surprise, the pace van was right behind him, allowing him to finish the race since he passed the last check point after the time limit.  His calves were cramping and he looked like he was in pain, but still determined to finish.  So I walked with him, I put some biofreeze on his legs, gave him some water, talked to him and encouraged him as we approached the last few yards to the finish.  He finally finished after 4 hours and 15+/- minutes, the last recorded person to finish the race.  Even if I was already pissed off at him for not trying to at least jog or speed walk, I’m still proud of him for finishing.  The other guy he was with gave up and rode the van back to the finish line.  My brother walked in pain till the finish.  I guess I could be a bad/good influence.  Good because I got them into running and exercising, but bad because he had to do this long distance (for him, it’s long) because his sisters have done it.  It was a good experience for him; he has now become an inspiration to many of our friends and our other little bro, Jeandre.  The message is: train harder so you do not finish last in a race.  Ok that is a bit harsh, just finishing is an accomplishment.  I should not talk that way; at AR 50 I may be the last person to finish.

Last Wednesday, Feb 22 was Ash Wednesday.  My Lenten sacrifice is to abstain from consuming alcohol, shopping for extravagant unnecessary stuff (food shopping ok), and to train/run hard without complaining.  In addition, I continue my fundraising for Team Herman 2012, one of the reasons why I am doing this AR50 run.  The day before Easter, my whole Lenten experience will culminate with running 50 miles from Sacramento to Auburn, all day long, hoping to finish in 11 hours (the time limit is 13 hours).

It is now 6 weeks till AR50.  I have ran a total of 157.12 miles for the month of February, with only 2 more running days left in the month for me (total mileage from 9/1/11 to date is 625 miles).  I hope the rest of this month will end up with good training miles.